After six years of bloody conflict the war between France and England was over and Canada had a new ruler, King George the third.

But for Shingas the fight against the English was not finished and after witnessing the brutal murder of his warriors by a company of redcoats at Fort Detroit, his desire for revenge burned like a fire in his heart.

Meanwhile, two hundred miles to the east on an isolated farmstead, Esther an indentured servant, wooed by the prospect of being released from the shackles of servitude, agrees to marry the farmers eldest son, a simpleton, in exchange for her freedom.

Unwittingly, fate was to bring them together and on the day of her wedding Esther is abducted by the savage war-chief and taken as a captive back to his village. Befriended by an old squaw and a young French girl, a captive like herself, Esther accepts her plight and is quickly assimilated into her new life.

All this changes when, seeing her bathing, Shingas forces himself on her. Horrified by this violation, when she is given the opportunity to escape she seizes her chance and together with the young French girl she makes her bid for freedom. But her hopes are quickly dashed when pursued by Shingas, she is captured and brought back to the village.

Nine months later she gives birth to his child, a boy. With discontent growing amongst the tribes as the English settlements encroach ever deeper into their lands, Shingas leads an attack against an English fort and after killing all inside he burns it to the ground.

Roused into action and determined to subdue this uprising and to punish those responsible, the English send an army under the command of Colonel Bouquet against them. And so deep in the wilderness at a place called Bushy Run, redskins and redcoats are joined in battle and in the space of a single day the fate of a nation is decided and so too is the fate of Esther and her child.

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Excerpt from Shingas © Copyright 2023 Barry Cole


THE WAR WAS over. The bitter struggle, which had seen the two great European nations of France and England locked in a bloody conflict for seven years had finally ended, and together with all her dependencies Canada now had a new ruler, King George the Third of England. Now all that remained to be done was for the victor to take possession of those western forts and outposts which remained in French hands, and it is there that our story begins.

Located on the western bank of the river whose name it bore, with a hundred or so small houses and a well-built barracks enclosed within its high palisaded walls, Fort Detroit was more like a fortified town than a military outpost. Formed in the shape of a square with a wooden bastion at each corner,
all armed with a cannon, and its gated entrance guarded by a blockhouse its Canadian inhabitants had little to fear from attacks by warring savages. And while not impregnable against a more resolute force, with its large garrison of French soldiers it was an impressive stronghold nevertheless. Sadly, on a chilly November day in 1760, none of this would matter, and without a single shot being fired its capitulation was secured by a single sheet of paper.